TECHNOLOGY

Best Buy jumps into the holiday delivery wars

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Best Buy has made a move to grab wallet share from competitors like Amazon, Walmart and Target, this holiday season.

Best Buy on Thursday announced it will provide free shipping on all online orders, with no minimum purchase required, from Nov. 8 to Dec. 25, as long as merchandise is available. It is the fourth straight year Best Buy has made the offer.

The service complements the company’s same-day delivery option. The service, which is available in 40 markets in the United States, has a $5.99 order fee. Customers can also pickup online orders in-store.

“Best Buy connecting its free shipping promotion to its omnichannel strategy is a great move,” said Charles Dimov, VP, marketing, OrderDynamics.

“First, it takes away the purchasing barrier of the dreaded minimum order required. Then, it reminds shoppers, ‘if you want it even faster, more conveniently, and the opportunity to see, touch and feel the product first, come into the store for a pickup,’” Dimov explained. “The in-store pickup saves Best Buy the cost of shipping and also reduces returns. Given that only 27.5% of retailers in the U.S. today offer the BOPIS option to customers, this is a nice differentiator for Best Buy.”

The announcement comes on the heels of competitors making similar delivery deals for the holidays. For the first time, Amazon is offering free shipping on all holiday orders with no minimum order required. (There is typically a $25 minimum for non-Prime members.)

Target will offer free two-day shipping to all customers, with no minimum purchase and no membership requirement. The offer runs from Nov. 1 until Dec. 22.

Walmart recently announced that “millions of items” sold on its marketplace are eligible for free two-day shipping on orders over $35. The service, which does not require a membership, will launch in mid-November. This is in addition to the to more than two million items sold online that are also eligible for free shipping when orders surpass $35. No membership fee applies.

Best Buy’s free shipping coincides with the company’s Black Friday deals on TVs, laptops, smart home devices, video games, and appliances, among other merchandise. The electronics retailer is launching “thousands” of early Black Friday deals on Nov. 8 through Nov. 11, and all are available online and in-store.

My Best Buy members will also be invited to Early Access sales events. Elite Plus and Elite members can shop on Sunday, Nov. 18, and all My Best Buy members can shop on Monday, Nov. 19, and Tuesday, Nov. 20.

Best Buy will re-launch all Black Friday deals to all customers on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22.

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